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SPECIES Pogonomys fergussoniensis

Author:Laurie, 1952.
Citation:Bull. British Mus. (Nat. Hist.) Zool., 1: 299.
Common Name:D’Entrecasteaux Archipelago Pogonomys
Type Locality:Papua New Guinea, D’Entrecasteaux Isls, Fergusson Isl, Awabula District, Saibutu (Laurie gave "Faralulu district" and "Taibutu", which are incorrect).
Distribution:Recorded (only by five specimens) from Fergusson Isl (holotype and paratype, Laurie, 1952:299, and AMNH 157601), Goodenough Isl (AMNH 157613), and Normanby Isl (AM M20309, Flannery, 1995b) in the D’Entrecasteaux group off the NE end of Papua New Guinea.
Comments:Recognized as a species in Laurie and Hill’s (1954) checklist, but treated as a distinct subspecies of P. loriae by Dennis and Menzies (1979) in their morphometric revision of Pogonomys and Chiruromys, and finally included in P. loriae (Flannery, 1990b, 1995a; Musser and Carleton, 1993). Flannery (1995b:149) listed it under P. loriae in his account of the Pogonomys on the D’Entrecasteaux Isls, but noted that "fergussoniensis is very distinctive, being very large and having a reddish rather than grey dorsum. I suspect that further studies will reveal it to represent a distinct species." Pogonomys fergussoniensis can be distinguished from all samples of P. loriae by its significantly larger body and skull size (see measurements in Dennis and Menzies, 1979:320), brownish red upperparts, buffy gray underparts, and sleek fur (dark brownish gray dorsal coat that is thick and woolly and white underparts in P. loriae). Furthermore, Dennis and Menzies (1979) found appreciable separation between samples of fergussoniensis and loriae in their discriminant analysis results.
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